About three months ago, Mark gave me an hour on a Saturday to do whatever I wanted. My job was to get out of our apartment and away from the kitchen. I gladly followed his orders, grabbed my camera, and went out exploring. Originally I was looking for different backdrops for possible photo shoots. I found some real gems on Hillsborough Street near downtown, but I soon found out the spots I thought were the most visually appealing were being demolished in just a week. I still regret that I never got pictures of people in front of some of these places. The lines, graffiti, boarded up windows, and brick made for some beautiful art. Too bad the City of Raleigh didn’t see it that way.
While on my little adventure, I saw a small building with a boarded up door. This sort of decrepit structure always appeals to my eye, so I started taking pictures. However, as I got closer to the building I realized that instead of an abandoned and dilapidated backdrop, this was someone’s home. The moment I understood this fact, I felt horribly embarrassed. Here I am looking for old, run-down buildings with my fancy camera in hand, while someone is living in this place that I consider “decrepit”. I started to walk away when suddenly I heard a person’s voice. I turned to see a man peacefully working on a project while sitting on the ledge of a torn down building. He said hello and gave me a warm smile, so I felt brave and asked if I could take his picture. I don’t know why. I think I was just bored of not having people in my images, so I took this opportunity to capture a man who seemed awed that someone would take pictures of the place he calls home.
I didn’t want him to be offended, so I just told him the truth that I wanted to practice. He obliged and asked if I was happy with the image when I was done. I said yes, even though if I was a true photojournalist, I would have taken many more and gotten much closer. But I was satisfied with my one, and said thank you.
Then he smiled again and said “God Bless.”